This paper will analyze six curriculums of English high school in different schools using the Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation. In particular, Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation has four components, namely the following: reactions, learning, behavior and results (Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation, n.d.). Level 1 of Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation is reactions which measures how the participants of the training reacted (Four Levels of Evaluation, n.d.). Level 2 which is learning that measures what the participants have learned from the training (Four Levels of Evaluation, n.d.). Level 3 is behavior that gauges the application of the participant from what he has learned from the training (Four Levels of Evaluation, n.d.). Lastly, level 4 results determine if the application of training is achieving results (Four Levels of Evaluation, n.d.). The six curriculums will be evaluated on their objectives, activities or lessons, facilities and equipment, and instructor and administrator roles.
Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation is suitable for assessing the curricula of English High Schools so that necessary modification both for the teacher or administrator who designed the curriculum and the students or learner will be made. As the evaluator I have chosen this assessment tool since it deals more with the results. This tool is a results- oriented tool which is the best measurement on whether the trainee learned and will be able to use it in their real life situations; however, this time students will replace the word trainee as a curriculum will be used. This tool aims to gauge how a trainee was able to use what he has learned from the training. Results will then be used for the revision or modification of curriculum. This means that teachers are considered guides of the students and evaluation of the curriculum is necessary so that they will be able to re-align the needs and demands of the real world to make their students prepared for life. All of the levels in Kirkpatrick’s model will be about the competencies taught to students by the teachers.
The curricula to be evaluated are from Pawling Central School District 9th Grade English, Bowie High School English 10, Bowie high School English 12, and the Ontario Curriculum Grades 9 to 12. This paper will also provide the assessment plan together with Kirkpatrick’s Model of Evaluation in assessing the six curricula given him.
For the Pawling Central School District 9th Grade School the following are the standard-based objectives or expectations for the students: (1) Students will listen, speak, and write for information and understanding; (2) Students will read and listen to oral, written, and electronically produced texts and performances from American and World literature; (3) Students will listen, read and write for critical analysis and evaluation; and (4) Students will listen, read and write for social interaction. The mission statement of the school also contains the teacher’s responsibility which is to give opportunities to become acquainted with a wide range of literary and critical works in all genres. The teachers will also provide an array of different collaborations with theater arts, media arts, communication arts and literature. The activities included are performing plays, creating art projects, performing public speeches, and making their own commercials. The topics for the 9th grade included major literary genres like short stories, novels, dramatic plays, and poetry which also underscore vocabulary development, writing and grammar skills.
For Bowie High School 10th Grade English Curriculum, expectations are not explicitly stated; however, the design of the curriculum is based on the Common Core Curriculum: close reading; rereading; reading, writing and talking as interrelated processes; grammatical choices; oral language and proficiency in English; and discussion. The topics to be discussed are elements of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and drama.
The Bowie High School 12th Grade English Curriculum includes World Literature. The teacher provides opportunity for the thematic approach to the universal ideas found in World Literature. The activities included composing of essays, research writing and literary analysis. Teachers will provide lesser opportunities for the students so that they will be able to have note taking skills at a college level.
For the Ontario Curriculum for 9th to 12th Curriculum for English as Second Language and Literacy Development, there are almost the same expectations or standards but in different levels of difficulty. The teachers are responsible for developing appropriate instructional strategies to aid students achieve the curriculum expectations for their courses, as well as developing suitable methods of assessing and evaluating student learning. Teachers also provide a lot of opportunities for students to be proficient in English, develop higher-order thinking skills and become thoughtful and effective communicators. The curriculum is divided into different strands: listening, speaking, reading, writing and socio-cultural competence and media literacy. The assessment will be based on the provincial expectations included in the curriculum. All the expectations must be accounted for in the instruction, but evaluation focuses on students’ achievement of the overall expectations. The materials and activities are anticipation guide, bilingual books and labels, dictogloss, guided reading and writing, information-gap communication games, jigsaw, role play and word walls.
Every curriculum follows a certain standard to ensure that the school is following the set standard the district or division has established. According to Fenner and Segota (n.d), in standards- based curriculum, particularly English language learners (ELLs) need to face the demands of academic and cognitive requirements across grade levels and content areas. Standards serve as a device for determining the language as well as the content that ELLs are supposed to do (Fenner & Segota, n.d.). This means that curriculum should set standard wherein students should become proficient at before going to another standard. Standards are also called objectives, expectations, competencies and the like (Luke, Woods & Weir, 2013). Among the curricula which were evaluated, the Pawling Central School District 9th Grade English and the Ontario Curriculum Grades 9 to 12 have standards and expectations in their curriculum. It served as their guideline in teaching the students the whole year. Standards, expectations, objectives or competencies are then utilized to make sure that the students will be able to master a skill before moving on to another. The other four curricula included the units to be covered together with skills they have to do.
For this part of the assessment plan for standards in a curriculum, it falls under the level reactions of Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation. The teachers cannot move to the next competency if the students’ reactions on their lessons are not identified. From English Language Arts Standards (n.d.), grade-specific standards are standards which enable the teachers to determine how equip the students for their college life. Furthermore, this is utilized to determine the end-of- year expectations or competency. Grade specific-standards highlight the results than means which also show how students reacted to the lessons presented to them (English Language Arts Standards, n.d.).
In Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation this level is the learning. The level of learning in the model measures what the participants have learned from the lessons. This is an important aspect of the assessment plan for curricula. All of the curricula which were evaluated have assessment part. The assessments were given either in the beginning, during or after the lesson. The curricula targets different skills or knowledge depending on what the teachers want to measure or the competency which has to be learned for the day’s lesson. It is also noted among the curricula that they put importance on the testing or assessing their students. All of the curricula were able to align as well the assessment forms for each type of topic for the lessons. The high school English curricula all dealt with competencies in each level which should be learned before progressing to another competency.
Alternative Sources of Learning
A well-designed and crafted curriculum does not confine learning in the four corners only of the classroom. Students should be allowed to explore what is beyond the walls of their classroom. Other opportunities should be provided to enhance learning in the classroom. According to Bowers and Keisler (2011 ), students may experience content in two ways: directly or vicariously. Direct experience is that in which the student experienced the concepts and content firsthand like going to a historical site (Bowers, Bowers & Keisler, ) Vicarious experience is that which the students experienced secondhand like reading a book or watching a movie (Bowers & Keisler, 2011).
These embedded “unique experiences” are performance-based output. In the Pawling Central School District for the 9th grade students, the teacher indicated that in collaboration with art classes, theater arts, media arts and public speaking there should be products from the said unique experiences. The teacher expects the students to write, produce and perform a play; create an art work showing one of the themes discussed in their lesson; give public speeches through opportunities given by the teacher; and make and record their own commercials.
In Kirkpatrick’s level of evaluation, this level shows the behavior. According to the model behavior means the evaluation of the changes in the behavior of the student based on what they have learned in the class (Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation, n.d.). This also means that there is an evaluation on the application of what they have learned in the classroom through their outcomes. If the teacher will give high grades on the outcomes provided by the students then that means there is an effective transfer of learning in the classroom.
Overall Evaluation of the Curriculum
After all the testing or assessment of the curriculum, it is advisable to have overall evaluation of the curriculum for its alignment to attain the objectives or expectations set by the teachers. In the level of Kirkpatrick’s level of evaluation, this is the last level which is the results. Results pertain to the assessment of the overall learning experience of the students with the help of the teacher and the curriculum as a guide.
This evaluation includes the alignment of standards, objectives or expectations, people involved in the curriculum like students and parents, strategies and methods in teaching and assessment tools used in each lesson.
According to Drake and Burns (2004), there are two types of alignment which are external and internal alignment for curriculum. External alignment happens when the mandated standards and testing objectives for a certain level reflect the concepts and skills required in the standard (Drake & Burns, 2004). Moreover, it means that teachers are mindful of testing the objectives. Teachers can use standardized tests to have an external alignment of their curriculum in the objectives and standards (Drake & Burns, 2004). Item analysis for test questions plays an important role as well to keep the external alignment in place (Drake & Burns, 2004).
For the internal alignment, it happens when instructional strategies and classroom assessment reflect the language and intent of the standards (Drake & Burns, 2004). For the internal alignment, it happens when instructional strategies and classroom assessment reflect the language and intent of the standards (Drake & Burns, 2004). To be internally aligned, teachers must first be knowledgeable in decoding the performance requirements that are embedded in the said standard (Drake & Burns, 2004). This is a good example of the unique experiences in one of the curricula evaluated. The teacher expects the student to have a performance-based outcome which is required by the standards set in the curriculum. Drake and Burns (2004) said that having internal alignment is common sense but it is an iterative process. Teachers need to constantly check and recheck to ensure that all pieces of the standards connect to the actual learning experiences.
This assessment plan for high school English curriculum will be helpful to ensure that the curricula in the schools have alignment to standards or expectations mandated by the state. This will also guarantee that students learned from the lessons provided in the curriculum.
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